(April, 2008) Hi everyone! I'm Dave Bate, 78 years old.
Musical Background. I first got involved in home organ playing back in 1982. In my youth, aged around 13, and living in Bristol, UK, during WW2, my parents made me take piano lessons with a local tutor. These lessons lasted four years or so until more interesting pursuits, like girls, got in the way. This early music training resulted in my becoming a reasonably fluent sight reader of, mostly, light classical music, which pleased my mother who also played our home Steinbeck upright.
My early musical interests were greatly influenced during the war by the New Wave music brought over by the American Forces -- Tommy Dorsey, Glen Miller and the like. My piano teacher had no interest in or, I suspect, knowledge of teaching this type of syncopated rhythmic stuff. Another reason to abandon further lessons, as far as I was concerned.
Later, in 1948, at 18, I did the regulation two years National Service in the Royal Air Force and absorbed the music of Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and British bands like Ted Heath and Eric Delaney.
In 1982, mainly due to friendship with an innately gifted Hammond organ player, I bought my first small organ -- a Yamaha C35 and, after over 35 years not even sitting at a keyboard instrument, I started to learn something quite new to me -- chord construction and reading from Busker-style notation i.e., top line and chord symbols. The logic of this appealed to my mind and I would regularly spend an hour or so practice before going to work in the morning.
I also had to re-learn reading the treble stave, which was less trouble than I feared, no doubt due to the piano lessons back in the 1940s embedded in my subconscious. Eventually, after a year or so, I was playing a vast number of chord symbols without conscious thought -- something that earlier on seemed an impossibility!
Organs gave way to keyboards and over the years I have gone through a Roland E15, Technics KN650, Solton MS 60, Technics KN1000 and three Yamaha PSRs to my present 3000. Although tempted by the T2, of course, I have no desire to upgrade. I regularly play at local clubs for dancing, and the small size of the 3000 with an amplifier system and two big speakers is easier to transport than a T2..
During the past three years, I have downloaded hundreds of re-worked styles from other keyboards on this web site and tweaked the best of these to suit my style of playing. Dozens of these extra styles, together with full registration set-ups are stored on the smartcard, which is permanently plugged in. All this is duplicated on a USB memory stick "just in case!"
My main musical interests are Big Bands, Latin, Ballads and composer icons such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Burt Bacharach, Michele LeGrand, Antonio Jobim and many more!
Hope these notes are of interest to you folk. Any similar musical histories out there? And how about UK-based players too?
-- Dave Bate
You cand ownload all of Dave's MIDI songs here: DB-3k.zip.